Genova and Dimitrov is one of the most internationally sought- after piano duos today. Already as a two-months-young ensemble, the today’s ECHO CLASSIC awardees caused a real sensation by winning the Grand Slam of piano duo competitions within only two years, namely the «ARD» (Munich),
Since then, Aglika Genova and Liuben Dimitrov have been celebrated by audiences and the press, performing on the most important concert and festival stages in numerous countries on all continents, such as the Library of Congress and the National Gallery in Washington, the Schleswig-Holstein, Rheingau, Ludwigsburg and Schwetzingen Festivals, the City Hall in Cape Town, the Herkulessaal Munich, the Liederhalle Stuttgart, the Gstaad Music Festival, MDR Music Summer, at the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Beethovenhalle Bonn, the Cologne Philharmonic Hall, the Passau European Music Weeks, the Varna Summer Festival, Sofia Music Weeks, and the March Music days Russe, the La Roque d’Antheron and the Al Bustan Music Festival Beirut, Casals Hall Tokyo, Poly Theatre Beijing, and the Teatro Municipal Rio de Janeiro, as well as at the Ravello Festival, the Woodstock Mozart Festival, the Festival Miami and the Chopin Piano Festival Duszniki, just to mention a few.
Upon the invitation of the Olympic Committee, the duo appeared at the opening concerts for the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, and at the 2010 Volleyball World Championships in Trieste. Their concerts could be enjoyed at the 2000 EXPO in Hanover, at the opening concert of the 2010 Paderewski Piano Competition in Poland, and in 2013 at the musical inauguration of Bacardi’s America Headquarters in Miami. In the same year Genova & Dimitrov appeared at the WDR Cologne Radio Day «1913-2013» and were celebrated on board of the new luxury cruise liner «Europe 2» on the way to Dubai within the framework of its opening season. 2014 they were Artists in Residence and Mentors of the International Festival Sommets Musicaux in Gstaad. In addition, they have appeared in numerous international TV and radio broadcasts. The portrayal TV documentary movie about the Duo «Etude for Two Pianos» which has been produced and broadcasted by the BNT Bulgarian National Television, enjoys worldwide greatest interest.
Under the direction of conductors such as Eiji Oue, Ari Rasilainen, Hannu Lintu, Stefan Blunier, Yuri Bashmet, John Carewe, Emil Tabakov, Ulf Schirmer, Alun Francis, Yordan Kamdzhalov, Robin Gritton, Alexander Kalajdzic, Gabriel Feltz, Alexander Rudin, Andreas Herrmann, and Johannes Schlaefli, Genova & Dimitrov have played worldwide with leading orchestras and choirs, for example in Munich, Los Angeles, Miami, Hamburg, Johannesburg, Durban, Hanover, Bonn, Beijing, Stuttgart, Cape Town, Sofia, Kiev, and Bucharest.
Among the season’s highlights are the release of the new CD with the BNR Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Genesis Orchestra led by Yordan Kamdzhalov («cpo Records»); numerous recitals and concerts with orchestra in Europe, Asia, America and Africa; studio recordings of the new recital CD project at WDR Radio Cologne; the Master Courses at Cloister Michaelstein (Germany) and at ISA «Allegra» in Russe (Bulgaria).
Aglika Genova and Liuben Dimitrov can look back at an impressive discography – 14 CDs of the duo have been released by «cpo Records» and «Gega New», and given glowing reviews and top ratings by international record magazines and radio stations.
In 2017 the Artists have been awarded the ECHO CLASSIC Prize for their CD «Bela Bartok & Victor Babin – Concertos for Two Pianos» with the Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra led by Yordan Kamdzhalov («cpo Records»). The same CD has been nominated also for the German Record Critics’ Award. In addition to a number of world premiere recordings, such as Victor Babin’s Concerto, the complete piano duo works of Dmitri Shostakovitch, Johann Christian Bach, Muzio Clementi, and Pantcho Vladigerov, recordings such as «America for Two» (Gershwin, Copland, Bernstein) and «Maurice Ravel – Favourite Flavors» are greatly appreciated worldwide. A particular emphasis in their discography are the recordings with orchestra «Martinu and Schnittke – Concertos for 2 pianos» (NDR Radio Philharmonic/Eiji Oue), «French Concertos – Milhaud, Poulenc, Casadesus» (SWR Radio Orchestra/Alun Francis) and «Mendelssohn – Concertos for Two Pianos No 1 & 2» (Munich Radio Orchestra/Ulf Schirmer). The CD «Arensky – Five Suites for Two Pianos», which the Artists dedicated to the memory of their teacher Vladimir Krainev, was designated by the media worldwide even as «trend-setting». The CD «Franz Liszt – Works for 2 Pianos» was praised by the international press as «A pure celebration of the 2 piano music, a celebration of Liszt’s music». In occasion of the Duo’s 20th birthday anniversary in 2015 «cpo» has released the Special Edition CD «Genova & Dimitrov – 20 Years», which has caused furore among the radios around the world.
Genova and Dimitrov serve regularly as jurors of significant international piano solo and duo competitions, such as the «ARD» Competition in Munich, at the Almaty Piano Competition, the «Franz Schubert» Competition in Russe, and were appointed in 2010 Artistic Directors of the «Dranoff» International Two Piano Competition in Miami.
The artists give master classes worldwide, as e.g. the annual Piano Duo & Solo Academy in Cloister Michaelstein (Germany) in January, as well as the ISA «Allegra» Summer Academy for Piano Solo & Duo, in Russe (Bulgaria). Since 2009, they have been appointed Heads of Piano Duo Studies at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media. In 2011 they established the piano duo forum «Twin Pack Piano».
The similarities between them reach far into their past: Aglika Genova and Liuben Dimitrov, both of Bulgarian-Greek descent, both began piano lessons at the age of five, and as 9-year-olds, both had their first public appearances as soloists with orchestra. During their piano solo training at special music high schools for highly talented youngsters, and then at the Sofia Conservatory with Julia and Konstantin Ganev each won multiple prizes at international competitions. Following the personal invitation from their mentor, the legendary pianist Vladimir Krainev, they finished their post-graduate studies in his class at the Hanover University of Music.
«One afternoon, shortly before leaving for a solo piano competition in Seoul, Korea, there was only one available rehearsal room at the Hanover University of Music and it was with two pianos. We spontaneously decided to start to play Chopin’s Etude 25/11 in sync. It was as if we had been given wings. Only few months later we had won our first competition prize as a duo», remember Aglika and Liuben.
Today the Artists live in Hanover, Miami and Sofia.
Hochschule für Musik Freiburg
Born into a family whose musical roots date back to the 19th century, Sebastian Hamann grew up surrounded and inspired by music, first in Scandinavia, and later in Germany. His musical training as a violinist and violist allows him to perform and win international competitions as a soloist, chamber musician and concertmaster around the world since his youth.
Wim Van Hasselt is a Belgian soloist and chamber musician. Currently based in Switzerland, the artist performs regularly in Europe, North America and Asia. He has been engaged as a soloist with orchestras such as the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, the Sophia Philharmonic and the Budapest Festival Orchestra, and
For many years Wim Van Hasselt was a member of the trumpet section with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam. Prior to this he held the same position with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin, as well as fulfilling guest engagements with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. He regards this period as a very musically formative time in his career as he was able to work with such renowned conducters as Mariss Jansons, Bernhard Haitink, Valery Gergiev, Gustavo Dudamel, Ivan Fischer, Daniele Gatti, Lorin Maazel, Andris Nelsons, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Christian Thielemann and Claudio Abbado.
For some time now, Wim Van Hasselt has placed a central focus on his work as a soloist and chamber musician. In 2015 he became a founding member of the international brass quintet ‘Brass United’.
Classical roots, refreshingly contemporary
Wim Van Hasselt has released several albums with the label Channel Classics, for which he has been presented with numerous awards. Grammophone, the leading magazine for classical music, has described him as „an exceptionally fine player with all the equipment in his armoury to delight, surprise and challenge the listener at every turn“. His recordings are characterized by their versatility and inquisitiveness, as well as the connections they build between tradition and modernity. This can be seen, for example, in the many compositions he has had commissioned.
His recordings, made in collaboration with such exceptional artists such as Jörgen van Rijen and Gustavo Gimeno, as well as the Budapest Festival Orchestra directed by Ivan Fischer, reflect the rich variety of his musical Œvres.
As Professor for trumpet at the University of Music Freiburg he is delighted to pass on his experience and enthusiasm for music.
Born in China in 1982, he started playing the violin at the age of four. Whilst still at school, he continued his musical development and education under Prof. Xu Lu at the Central Conservatory in Beijing, where he studied violin performance for ten years. His musical talent was promoted by the «Herbert von Karajan Center» and flourished under the tutelage of Gerhard Schulz from Alban Berg Quartet in Vienna.
He competed with great success in Beijing in 1998. He won the first prize at the Mi-Do International Violin Competition, and in the following year he also won the first prize at the Stephanie Hohl Violin Competition in Vienna and the special award at the Leopold Mozart International Violin Competition in Augsburg.
These awards led to appearances as a soloist with orchestras such as Zurih Phiharmonia, Poznan Phiharmonic, Bergrad Phiharmonic, Vienna Webern symphony, China NCPA orchestra, and Guiyang Symphony. Concert tours have taken his musical life to Asia, USA, Australia, South America, and throughout Europe. He appears regularly as a soloist and a chamber musician at major stages all over the worLd, such as Lincoln Center in New York, Vienna Concert Hall, Vienna Musikverein, Wigmore Hall London, Kioi Hall Tokyo, China NCPA, Seoul Arts Center, Shanghai Symphony Concert Hall, and Sydney Opera, as well as such important festivals as Verbier Music Festival, Luzern Music Festival, Rheingau Music Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Kissinger Summer Festival, Macau Music Festival, China NCPA May festival.
Xiaoming currently serves as the concertmaster of Zurich Phiharmonia under maestro Fabio Luisi. He has been concertmaster of Verbier Festival Orchestra and also appears regularly as guest concertmaster working with Deutsch Radio Philharmonic, Luzern Symphony Orchestra, Bern Symphony Orchestra, Porto National Symphony Orchestra, China NCPA Orchestra, and Singapore Symphony Orchestra. Conductors with whom he has worked include maestro Lorin Maazel, Christoph Eschenbach, Zubin Meta, Bernard Haitink, Daniel Gatti, Gustavo Dudamel, Myung-Whun Chung, and Valery Gergiev.
He has a great passion for development of young talents, since 2010 he has held International masterclasses in Pila, Poland, as well as Samsung masterclass in Seoul and Central Concervatory of Music in Beijng.
Xiaoming Wang plays a 1715 violin by Stradivarius (Aurea) lent to him by the Harbisreutinger Fondation.
Péter Somodari was born in 1977 in Veszprem, Hungary. He began playing cello at the age of four. Between 1997 and 2006 he studied at the music academies of Budapest and Saarbrücken, under the guidance of Làszlo Mezö, Miklos Perényi, Gustav Rivinius, Ferenc Rados, and György Kurtàg.
He has appeared in performances with such famous musicians as Christian Tetzlaff, Leonidas Kavakos, Patricia Kopatschinskaja, Tabea Zimmermann, Boris Pergamenschikov, Truls Mork, Miklos Perenyi, Alexej Lubimov, György Kurtàg, Tugan Sokhiev.
From 1997 to 2001 Péter Somodari worked in the Budapest Strings Chamber orchestra, both as their section’s cellist as well as appearing as a soloist.
In the period between 2001 – 2004 he was a member of the Keller Quartet and the Hungarian State Opera. From 2004-2012 he held the Principal Cello position of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra.
Since September 2012 Peter Somodari is Solocellist at the Vienna State Opera and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra since 2016.
Musical highlights were performances as a soloist in concerts with Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, NHK Orchestra, Luzerner Sinfonieorchester.
19.07 – 26.07.2019
Andreas von Wangenheim is regarded as one of the most interesting and expressive guitarists of his generation. He received his musical education at the music conservatories of Hamburg and Basel.
Andreas von Wangenheim recorded his own transcriptions (Arte Nova/BMG) of the six solo cello suites for the “Bach Year 2000” for which he received excellent reviews. Also with Arte Nova, he recorded a CD containing his own transcriptions of Mozart and Haydn Divertimenti.
Andreas von Wangenheim is also active in other artistic areas:
He released several CDs with his own compositions and improviations blending classical, world and jazz elements. The CD “Orlando” (BMG/ RCA) was awarded by the press the title “audiophile CD of the Month”. As composer from film music he won the first prize in the film festival in Dublin in 1991. His guitar performances are included in the soundtracks of in the films “Beyond the Silence” and “Nirgendwo in Afrika”.
Andreas von Wangenheim is Professor for Guitar at Hochschule Luzern (Switzerland).
Prof. Shaowu Wang, the Vice-principal in the Middle School of the CCOM, is professor of viola and instructor of graduate students, as well as a member of academic board in CCOM. After graduation in honors from the Central Conservatory of Music, Wang remained on the school staff in 1996.
As a young professor, Wang has already received many awards. He received “the Outstanding Young Teachers Award” issued by the Education Committee of Beijing in 2008, “HUANG Yuanli Excellent Teachers Award” in 2009 and has been selected into the “Project of the New Century Excellent Talents” of the Ministry of Education in 2010. He has published chamber music annotation scores, “Ravel String Quartet” and “Debussy String Quartet”, which was funded by the “211 Project” of the Central Conservatory of Music. In 2011 and 2012, he worked as art director of chamber music festival in CCOM middle school. He also organized and held “the 1st String Quartet Competition of the Middle School of the CCOM” in success in 2013.
Together with other young fellow teachers, Wang once set up “Beijing Quartet” and the “Central Music Quartet”, which had provided a great of opportunities for himself to cooperate with many world famous quartet and string masters, such as Borodin string Quartet, Koday string Quartet, Amadeus string Quartet, Isaac Stern, YoYo Ma, Nobuko Imai, Mathias Buchholz, Hariolf Schlichtig, Wolfram Christ etc.
Wang also has had many prize-winning students in most of the international and domestic competitions, including the 1st prize and the most popular young musician in Max Rostal in Berlin in 2015, the 1st prize of Brahms international viola competition in Austria in 2012 and 2015, the 1stprize of Primrose international viola competition in 2014, the 1st and 3rd of young musicians of American viola association in 2012, the 1st of Llanes international viola competition in 2008 and 2012, also the ARD International Music in Munich, German, his students got the 3rd. Most graduates started being the faculty members in Toronto University, the University of Kent in U.S.and the viola chief of Toronto symphony orchestra, the Miami Quartet in U.S. and Central Conservatory of Music.